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2018 Midterms

In the Hot Seat: The Left, Right, and Middle Try to Holdout in Recent Primaries

Primaries nationwide continue to reflect the changing divide amongst all voters and politicians.

Duane Paul Murphy

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On Tuesday, May 14, voters in six states, Maine, Virginia, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Nevada, went to polls from sunset to sundown for their own states primaries that will set course for one of the most contested midterm elections in recent political history. From the internal factions between the left and the right to new electoral implementations, these states are reflecting serious changes people want to see in the governments nationwide, especially in Washington, D.C.

The American South swings their Republican candidates not only further to the right, but also towards support for President Donald Trump. In South Carolina, state representative Katie Arrington defeated the incumbent congressman and former governor Mark Stanford in the 1st District’s Republican primary. Arrington, a more conservative candidate who received Trump endorsement on the day of the primary, saw Stanford as critical of the president and some of his policies. In Virginia, Prince William County Board of Supervisors chairman and former state gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate to compete against incumbent Democrat and former vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine. Stewart, a pro-Trump conservative, has alleged ties to pro-confederate and white nationalist individuals as well as groups.

Meanwhile in the swing state of Nevada, while Democrats may have stronger chances of expanding their own majorities in the congressional delegation and the state government, the fight for the party’s direction was clearly displayed in the 4th District’s primary where former state senator Steven Horsford, backed by former vice president Joe Biden, won against his progressive opponent, Amy Vilela, a candidate backed by Our Revolution and Justice Democrats.

In Maine, voters decided to keep the state’s implementation of ranked-choice voting or instant runoff voting. This particular voting system, where multiple candidates are ranked numerically, is being used in various cities across the country such as Berkley, Oakland, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul. D.C. and Arkansas hold their primaries next week on June 19th.

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Duane Paul Murphy is a D.C. college graduate and freelance journalist born and raised in Southern California. He obtained a bachelor of art’s in politics and a minor in media studies, Duane Paul is interested in covering domestic as well as international political affairs that impact the lives of everyday people, whether they are young students, professionals, or faculty in higher education.

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